Experts vs. Users

Last week I was reminded of RESEARCH that was carried out a couple of years ago comparing the ways an average user tries to stay safe online compared to how security experts stay safe online. The results are quite an eye opener and something we can all learn from.

Comparing the two lists, the only thing that appears on both is the use of strong passwords. However, the average user rates strong passwords as the second most important thing to do, whereas the experts have that further down the list.

Experts suggest that the most important thing to do to stay safe online is by installing updates. We all know that updates can be annoying and may interrupt your day but the truth is they are vital to keeping the attackers at bay.

Remember the Wannacry ransomware attack in May? Microsoft had released an update that would have prevented the spread of that attack weeks before it happened. Next time your computer, phone, tablet or program tells you that there is an update, go make yourself a coffee and apply it.

Another thing suggested by experts is using unique passwords for every service! If an attacker finds one of your passwords they may well then try lots of other services to see if you have used that password anywhere else. This technique is called CREDENTIAL STUFFING.

The next tip from the experts is to use Two Factor Authentication or 2FA. If 2FA is enabled on an account, you not only need to enter your password but also a special code that is sent to you before you can access your account. This might sound like an extra step, and it is, but it is well worth it. If someone does manage to get one of your passwords they still won’t be able to access your account.

The next two tips go hand in hand. The experts suggest that strong passwords are important and that you should use a password manager. We’ve written about Password Managers before. They are really good tools to help you create unique and strong passwords.

Note that the use of Anti-Virus doesn’t make the top five for the experts but is number one on the users list. Now, I’m not suggesting that you turn off your anti-virus, but by following these other tips you will be making strides to securing your accounts and data.

If you have any questions or enquiries about cyber security contact us on [email protected]

Written on 10 January 2018

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